Linda M. Samuel, longtime Justice Department official, passed away September 13, 2013, after a two-year battle with cancer.
A native of Chinchilla, Pennsylvania, and graduate of Abington Heights High School, Linda received a B.S. in 1978 from Penn State University
, and then moved to Washington, D.C., where she earned a J.D. from Catholic University, and later, an LLM from Georgetown University Law School.
While still in law school, Linda began a career in the service of her country at the Department of Agriculture. She continued as a devoted public servant until her death. After serving as an Attorney Advisor and Trial Attorney in the Department of Energy from 1981 to 1984, she worked as a Trial Attorney in Department of Justice's Civil Commercial Litigation Branch, from 1984 to 1990, and then transferred to the Department's Criminal Division, to work in the field of asset forfeiture. There, she rose to become Deputy Chief of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section's International Unit.
Linda was a well-recognized global leader in asset recovery efforts, travelling extensively and building friendships and support for the United States while working with foreign jurisdictions to implement money laundering and forfeiture legislation and programs. Linda represented the Department of Justice in multiple international settings, including in the United Nations, the G-8, and the Asia Pacific Group. She also handled complex international litigation, assisting foreign jurisdictions in recovering crime proceeds hidden in the United States for the benefit of the crime victims, and securing from foreign jurisdictions proceeds of crimes secreted there.
Linda was the recipient of numerous awards while at the Justice Department, including the coveted John Marshall Award bestowed in 2012 for her cross-border cooperation in forfeiture and money laundering matters which led to the recovery of tens of millions of dollars and the development of international best practices.
Linda was known for her extraordinarily sharp mind, her quick wit, indomitable spirit and undying passion for justice for all. Her skill, warmth and fairness earned her the respect and gratitude of dignitaries from around the world. During a recent United Nations meeting, one nation openly acknowledged its gratitude to Linda, describing her as "the mother duck" who led them, taught them and nurtured their investigative efforts to a successful conclusion. Her wise counsel and warm friendship will be sorely missed by all who knew her.
Linda is survived by her husband, Jake Jakubos; their son, Oliver; and two daughters, Kendall and Haley, all from Washington, D.C. Also surviving are her parents, Gordon and Jeanne Samuel, of Pensacola, Florida; her five siblings, Valerie Samuel Scott, Raleigh, N.C.; Kelley Samuel, Washington, D.C.; Jennifer Samuel Bernier, Silver Spring, Md.; Susan Samuel McPherson, Sherborn, Mass.; and Gordon Samuel Jr., Scottsdale, Ariz.; as well as her nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held in her honor at the Department of Justice.
Arrangements by the McGoff-Hughes Funeral Home Inc., 1401 Capouse Ave., Scranton.